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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Imidazoleacetic acid, a gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor agonist, can be formed in rat brain by oxidation of histamine.

It is generally accepted that in mammalian brain histamine is metabolized solely by histamine methyltransferase ( HMT), to form tele-methylhistamine, then oxidized to tele-methylimidazoleacetic acid. However, histamine's oxidative metabolite in the periphery, imidazoleacetic acid (IAA), is also present in brain and CSF, and its levels in brain increase after inhibition of HMT. To reinvestigate if brain has the capacity to oxidize histamine and form IAA, conscious rats were injected with [3H]histamine (10 ng), either into the lateral ventricles or cisterna magna, and decapitated 30 min later. In brains of saline-treated rats, most radioactivity recovered was due to tele-methylhistamine and tele-methylimidazoleacetic acid. However, significant amounts of tritiated IAA and its metabolites, IAA-ribotide and IAA-riboside, were consistently recovered. In rats pretreated with metoprine, an inhibitor of HMT, labeled IAA and its metabolites usually comprised the majority of histamine's tritiated metabolites. [3H]Histamine given intracisternally produced only trace amounts of oxidative metabolites. Formation of IAA, a potent GABA-A agonist with numerous neurochemical and behavioral effects, from minute quantities of histamine in brain indicates a need for reevaluation of histamine's metabolic pathway or pathways in brain and suggests a novel mechanism for interactions between histamine and the GABAergic system.[1]


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